I Forgive Me

On the Hudson.
On the Hudson. It just looks like forgiveness to me.

Recently, I had to tell a musician friend over and over that their mistake on stage will not signal the end of their life nor the ruination of a fruitful career.  I laughed and made jokes to lighten their mood and hopefully convey this truth.  But, in the end, I wonder if it worked.  Was I successful in my efforts or are they still sitting somewhere pining over that one less than perfect moment in life that’s now long gone?

I checked out two performances this past week, Baby Do Brasil last week, Sunday and Alexander O’Neil this past saturday.  Check out the clips and note how two performances, imperfect in some ways, were still perfect in the ways that matter.

My husband and I, out to see Alexander O'Neil.
My husband and I, out to see Alexander O’Neil.

In fact, Alexander O’Neil said something that night that struck me as both simple and profound.  “I don’t take (all this) too seriously.”  He joked, as he pointed to the stage and talked about his performance and career.

Some people may always disagree with this way of thinking, but I have to say, I have come to agree completely!

I used to beat myself up if I did something that I didn’t like on stage.  One night, while singing, I lost my voice completely.  I was upset and embarrassed.  But it helped me to put some of the little, inconsequential faux pas in perspective.  I look at perfection differently now, there’s a time for it and there’s also a time when it can be boring!

Now anything short of losing my voice is redeemable.  These days if I hit a note that’s a bit off, or crack a little, I say to myself, “oh, alright… that happened.  Let’s make this work for me.” and then I go on to relax and deliver for the rest of the song.

My rationale is this,  while no one likes them,  mistakes happen to the best of us.  So, you can’t let one mistake keep you from having an amazing performance.  Especially, when your mistake is probably unrecognizable to most and only ‘wrong’ in your eyes, because you meant to do something else.

Forgive yourself, then move on.  Enjoy your show, so that others might!  After all, “it’s not brain surgery,” as Alexander O’Neil says.

***Disclaimer*** This advice is not be used by brain surgeons, or any other surgeons, for that matter!  Sorry.

Ciao, friends

Got something to say?  Drop me a line below.

5 thoughts on “I Forgive Me”

  1. Weeping. This is my story. The thing is, I know why I sing; I know who I sing to; I know that I am not trying to overcompensate in any way. But, I want excellence. I ALWAYS second guess myself. Was my pitch off (probably). Sometimes, I even imagine folks cringing. I go away sad. Sometimes, I feel like I have to explain it like ‘ I could not hear the music out of the monitors’, etc. LOL.

    For a time, I withdrew. That led me to anger because I LOVE to sing.. Then, recently, I asked God to remove that feeling from me and bring back the time when I was bold to sing out. A time when I was much less inhibited. Mistakes were stuff to giggle about and keep it moving.

    Insecurity really saps a person of their potential. What’s wonderful about your post is that I never uttered these sentiments to anyone other than my husband. I am going to ask him to read this, also.

    Thanks for the blessings that keep coming from your full life! Love you, Sis.

    1. Insecurity surely does, Rita. You know, I was talking about this last night with someone who was quick to tell me that there is nothing wrong with perfection and that’s true, there isn’t.
      So now, I feel I have to clarify. I think it’s great to strive for perfection, but you certainly can’t stop singing (or, whatever you do) for fear of messing up! By the way, I’m talking to myself most of all. Because fear has stifled me more than enough times.
      Ultimately, I think that if I had to choose between fearfully singing, but hitting every note perfectly, OR fearlessly singing my heart out, with one bad note, I’d choose the latter. You know what I mean? I know you do… Thanks for chatting with me, Rita. Love ya!

      1. Yes, I know your feelings on striving for perfection because I know you and how you handle your gift. But, I think for me I began to strive harder for excellence because I just didn’t want to be the topic of convo due to a mistake. That went on for a while. Too long. I LOVE your last thought. I would rather sing fearlessly, as well. There is such a freedom in doing things from a genuine place.

        I cannot tell you how this has touched me. I am so grateful. I am sending this link to my good friend. She and I were JUST talking about this today before I read this!


        1. Finally getting around to reading this ….I’m the friend ! It’s not about perfection for me…I know my flaws … And prefer not to showcase them …. Lol. Example …. I can’t find my note ( I’m an alto)… So if I have to sing 3 part with no other alto or strong alto … I shudder!!! I can single solo and I know my ability … I can sing in a choir …. But 3 part….. Alone …. No way. Yes, I know who I sing for but feel that if I’m “off” it messes it up for others and then I’m so consumed with what I sound like that I lose my focus for my purpose …. Make sense?

          1. Hey Alyssa. Thanks for joining our conversation. Stay encouraged as you continue to work on your areas of need. We all have something to work on. It seems you’re more than halfway there since you know your areas already.

            Patiently putting in some time, a capella, with your 3 part vocal unit should make it easier to “find your notes.” Make sure you take a recorder along. You’ll want to listen to those parts alone, later. Once you learn it, practice it some more… you’ll eventually have it down.

            Keep your purpose in mind and don’t give up.

            All the best!


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